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February 2013

FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK After Salazar, Who?

The announcement that Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar is stepping down was celebrated by animal advocates in early January from coast to coast, but particularly in the West. There, Salazar, and the Bureau of Land Management under his control, have decimated lands of wild horses as the agency removed them from their wilderness By Steven Long homes. The habitat was mandated by the 1971 Free Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act. Salazar and his men thumbed their noses at the law, and the secretary even threatened to “punch out” a reporter who dared to question him on the matter. The loss of this Colorado lawyer, rancher, and Obama sycophant can only be greeted as good news for the horse, and by extension, good news for America. What comes next? As Horseback goes to press we are hearing names but nothing yet from the White House. Cabinet appointments sometimes come slowly. Sadly, they are often based on the size of the campaign contributions the potential appointee brought in, not the quality of their past work. The preservation of America’s wild horses is not a liberal or conservative issue. The North American Mustang, as the breed is officially designated, is embraced by both Democrats and Republicans, and decried only by a handful of Western ranchers who covet these horse’s land because of the cheap rent charged by the federal government. After the horses are driven from the land, thousands of cattle replace them in one of the most shameful bureaurocratic giveaways imaginable. Since we were first introduced to the wild horse issue by our friend R.T. Fitch over Labor Day weekend, 2009, we have watched the herds dwindle to almost nothing. The horses are removed from their habitat and placed in huge pastures leased from cronies of BLM bureaucrats for prices reaching sometimes in the millions. We have seen wild animals stampeded by helicopter, the aircraft’s skids sometimes toppling fleeing horses and they run in terror. We have watched a woman named Laura Leigh and her lawyer, Gordon Cowan, wage a heroic fight in the courts – even winning sometimes over the powerful federal agency. The beginning of a new administration is much like a professional sports team getting into the playoffs. The second term is a new start, a new season. We can only hope that Obama makes a judicious appointment to replace the disaster called Ken Salazar. Please, Mr. President, please appoint somebody who cares for our wild horses.

On the Cover:

Todd Fritsch & Mary Walker

8 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - February 2013

10 Horse Bites 12 Parelli 16 Dream BIG & Believe - Kelly Kaminski 52 Whole Horsemansip - Dianne Lindig 54 TACK TALK - Lew Pewterbaugh 56 On The English Front - Cathy Strobel 58 Horse Sense - Dr. Jessica Jahiel 60 The Cowboy Way - Corey Johnson 62 COWBOY CORNER - Jim Hubbard Cover Story: 18 22

Beatin’ the Odds - Steven Long Todd Fritsch - Margaret Pirtle

Lifestyle & Feature: 28 Spicy Texas 34 Blue Corduroy




CORPORATE OFFICE 281-447-0772 281-591-1519 Fax

EDITOR Steven Long NORTH TEXAS Mari Crabtree NATIONAL NEWS EDITOR 216-702-4520 Carrie Gobernatz LIFESTYLE EDITOR Margaret Pirtle NEW MEXICO BUREAU GULF COAST BUREAU 832-349-1427 Carol Holloway Laurie Hammer 832-607-8264 Cell 505-315-7842 EVENTS EDITOR Leslie Greco Crystal Shell 832-602-7929 BRAZOS VALUE BUREAU Diane Holt 936-878-2678 Ranch 713-408-8114 Cell

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Jim Hubbard, Steven Long, Vicki Long, Dianne Lindig, Roni Norquist, Pat Parelli, Lew Pewterbaugh, Cathy Strobel, Dr. Jessica Jahiel, Cory Johnson, Margaret Pirtle Volume 20, No. 2 Horseback Magazine, P.O. Box 681397, Houston, TX 77268-1397, (281) 447-0772. The entire contents of the magazine are copyrighted February 2013 by Horseback Magazine. All rights reserved. Material in this publication may not be reproduced in any form without the expressed written consent of the publisher. Horseback Magazine assumes no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs and other material unless accompanied by a stamped, self addressed envelope. Horseback Magazine is not responsible for any claims made by advertisers. The views and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or management. Subscription rate is $25.00 for one year.

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Horseback Magazine, P.O. Box 681397, Houston, TX 77268-1397. Fax: (281) 893-1029 Email:

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Thoroughbred Incentive Program Approves more than 375 Shows, Introduces Number Card LEXINGTON, ( Jockey Club) – The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program announced today that it has approved more than 375 shows from the 268 applications that it received. Applications represented approximately 400 horse shows in 37 states and Canadian provinces. “We’ve approved shows in numerous disciplines, including eventing, dressage, Western and English pleasure, and hunter/jumper,” said Kristin Werner Leshney, legal associate for The Jockey Club. “We added series year-end awards for associations with multiple shows, and they’ve been very popular.” Once again, T.I.P. will disburse $100,000 in prize money, ribbons and prizes, including saddle pads, stall plaques, coolers, halters and tote bags. “In addition to awards for shows, we have renewed the out-of-competition awards,” said Leshney. “Winners of the Thoroughbred of the Year Award and the Young Rider of the Year Award will each receive $5,000 and other prizes.” Applications for the non-competition awards will be available at in May with a deadline of June 28, 2013. T.I.P. has also introduced the T.I.P. number card, which distinguishes horse and rider combinations and should be provided to horse shows as proof of eligibility. Owners/riders can apply for a T.I.P. number at Only Thoroughbreds that have been registered with The Jockey Club or, new for 2013, a foreign Thoroughbred

10 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - February 2013

and we commend stud book the responsible “Horse Bites is compiled from recognized breeders who Press Releases sent to Horseback by The Jockey Magazine. Original reporting is have chosen to Club are done as circumstances warrant. be part of the eligible to Content is edited for length & style.” solution.” participate in “As a breeder T.I.P. classes of Arabian horses and awards. for 30 years, I Created and announced in believe that responsible breeding October 2011, T.I.P. recognizes means not only breeding for the finest and rewards the versatility of the conformation and behavior, but also Thoroughbred through sponsorship ensuring that our foals lead happy, of Thoroughbred classes and high productive lives,” said council member point awards at sanctioned horse Melissa Forberg. “This commitment shows. In addition to the complete to the welfare of our foals must be schedule of T.I.P.-sponsored lifelong and unwavering.” shows, other information about the As a first step, the council is program is also available on the T.I.P. encouraging horse breeders to sign website. Those interested in T.I.P. can a pledge to be a responsible breeder. follow the program at In doing so, they agree to take back tjctip. any horse they have bred should the horse become homeless or at-risk of being abused or sent to slaughter. The Humane Society of the United States More than 800 breeders have already Forms New Responsible joined the responsible breeder’s list. Horse Breeders Council Horse breeders can join the initiative or email vpringle@humanesociety. Council Will Develop Strategic org. Horse owners can also use this list Initiatives to Keep Horses out of the to search for their horse’s breeder in Slaughter Pipeline the event that they need assistance in WASHINGTON, (HSUS) – The continuing to humanely care for their Humane Society of the United States is horse. forming a Responsible Horse Breeders Council composed of horse breeders NRBC Introduces Reiners U around the country who are dedicated to improving horse welfare. The goal of HOUSTON, (NRBC) – Everyone in the council is to decrease the number the performance horse world knows of horses in the U.S. who are at risk of that the National Reining Breeders being neglected, abused or slaughtered Classic is the place to be in April for the for human consumption. Council industry’s top reining professionals. members will work with The HSUS But beginning in 2013 with the advent to discourage over breeding and to of Reiners U, it will become the place promote responsible horse ownership for beginners as well. and nationwide horse rescue and re- With the introduction of homing efforts. Reiners U newbie reiners will have classes “We have a responsibility of their own with the Green Reiner to every horse born, and for some classes and will also be able to receive free time now there has been a crisis of coaching from one of the horse world’s over breeding that is having a terrible icons, Dick Pieper. impact on the welfare of horses,” said This new facet of competition Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO and instruction will take advantage of The HSUS. “Horse slaughter has of the opportunities offered by the been used as an outlet for irresponsible newly expanded facilities at the Great breeders to continue to over breed Southwest Equestrian Center, home horses and to treat them as disposable of the NRBC in Katy, Texas. NRBC commodities. The Humane Society of Secretary-Treasurer Cheryl Cody said, the United States is working to end “For an event that had pretty much this unnecessary slaughter of horses, grown to fill up two arenas running

Horse Bites - Con’t. on pg. 38

simultaneously throughout the show, the creation and construction of the new Tellepsen Arena allows more classes and more concurrently run activities. That made 2013 a logical year to be able to add a true entry-level day for aspiring reiners who want to get their feet wet in this event on a level playing field.” NRBC Vice President Colleen McQuay noted, “The sport of reining is proving to be attractive to many people of all ages. The short stirrup has proven to be a good beginning for our children but

we need to do more for the adults who want to begin to rein. Offering the Green Reiner classes as well as the educational opportunities are steps we are taking to help adults to enjoy our sport. This group makes up a large portion of the industry. Adults who are getting started riding are big contributors to the industry and deserve all the opportunities we can give them.” Commenting on the new opportunities afforded by the expanded Great Southwest facilities, she added, “It

is only because of the trust and support of the GSWEC that we are able to now add this to our schedule. Without the third arena available to us we could not make it happen.” From the NRBC Board’s conviction to offer special green classes grew the concept of providing pre-show training and coaching. This sport grew first from the interest in futurities and developing young horses. The educational opportunities



“How To Stop a Rearing Horse” By Pat Parelli with Steven Long

HORSEBACK MAGAZINE: Certainly one of the most dangerous things that can happen on a horse is for the animal to rear up and then fall over on the rider. We’ve seen it again and again. Fortunately, the rider was able to escape death, but not all riders are so lucky. What is a sure fire way to stop the horse from misbehaving in this manner. PAT PARELLI: I’m often asked about horses that rear. My usual response is: ‘Oh, your horse is rearing to go, but you can’t go because he’s rearing?’ That’s kind of a fun little chuckle, but what really happens is, what the question is - what are the physical dynamics a horse has to have in order to rear? Regardless of why he’s rearing, which is another subject, today we are talking about horses that are either engaged, or disengaged, they are actually rearing. The horse can be engaged mentally, emotionally, or the horse can be engaged physically. What we want is for the horse to engage mentally rather than to engage in a physical battle. HORSEBACK: A terrifying physical battle, you mean… PARELLI: The reason I keep hammering the word engage is because you can do one of those two things, engage into a conversation, or engage into a battle. Sometimes people get a horse engaged into a battle and in order for a horse to rear, he has to be totally engaged. To do that, he puts the most amount of weight on his hind quarters. The other way for the horse to be

12 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - February 2013

totally engaged is when he does the slide stop. The rear (end) is just that one step past the slide stop, where he puts all his weight on his hind quarters, and then (the front legs) go in the air. HORSEBACK: And in my experience, that’s where panic sets in for the rider. What on you do to control the horse? PARELLI: It’s not like when a horse is having fun out in the pasture, or when he can rear on command like Roy Rogers did with Trigger, or even when a horse can rear when he gets into battle like two stallions. Then a horse can also rear when he’s

trapped in front, and the horse doesn’t want to go forward. The first thing we have to understand is that to be totally engaged he has to make his back legs spread wide. This is where the number one secret to a horse that rears is involved. We’ve got to be able to disengage the hind quarters. HORSEBACK: And the way to do that is? PARELLI: Well, we ask ourselves, ‘What kind of equipment do we need?” A shank bit or a Tom Thumb actually help the horse engage more. So I wouldn’t use those types of equipment on a horse that has the tendency to rear. I would probably use a snaffle because that way I could probably bend his neck to the side which would put his hindquarters under himself and into a narrow span. So there’s a lot more to it than that, but this might just give you enough, and just enough of a clue, to want to become a horseman, and then you can become your horse’s best friend. hB

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“Modern Barrel Racing, The Nitty Gritty of the Sport”


many folks new to the sport of Barrel Racing get confused when they hear about different formats. Frankly, it is confusing as heck. I will explain this abyss to the best of my knowledge. Until about 20 years ago, it was simple really, the fastest time won. Just like in rodeos today. Rodeo and Open Jackpot: The “pot” of entry fees minus a

percentage would be put in the “pot” and possibly have additional money from a sponsor for the event. The payout scale is structured according to how racers were entered. So if there were 20 entries, it paid four places, and if there were more, it would adjust for more. That is still true today in the sport of rodeo.

usually start with the Green Novice class meaning the horse has not won any money. Once they earn a check, they move up into the next class such as the $150 Novice. This means they have not won over $150. They can compete here until they earn that amount and then will move up to the $300 Novice and so forth. This is a way to set goals for horses and riders, and the horses aren’t pushed to do more than they are ready for.

Novice Classes: Novice Classes are for young horses just getting started in the sport. Started by cowgirls wanting a place to take their young horses, this is a way to build confidence in a horse and give him experience and to season him for hauling to different arenas without the expensive cost and stress of a rodeo. These classes

Divisional Races (3D, 4D, 5D etc.): Divisional Races were started about 20 years ago and so began the confusion of trying to explain to non barrel racing friends how someone could run two seconds off of the winning time and win money. Some of these types of jackpots are simply called Barrel races or if they are a big sponsored event with hundreds of

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entries, they will be called, Super Shows. The divisional races original intent was to give beginner riders and horses that were solid, but not fast enough to win in a rodeo or open barrel race a future. Before these horses were usually discounted and sold to do other jobs in other sports, or if it was a mare, become a broodmare. • 1D - This is the fastest division. An example of the winning time is a 17.00. • 2D -This would be the second fastest division. It starts a ½ a second off the winning time, so for our purposes it would be a 17.50. • 3D - is a full second off the winning time so it would be an 18.00 • 4D - is two full seconds off the winning time 19.00

paid. Also the payout percentage varies. The 1D pot had the higher percentage since those were the fastest horses, while the 4D had the lowest in the pot. There are a few local clubs that will do equal payout for the divisions. That is a whole can of worms that I won’t go into at this time. Futurities and Derbies: These races are age limited. Some are for 4 year olds and younger or they can also be 5 year olds and younger. The horse cannot have competed before its futurity year in a barrel race. There is usually a lot of added sponsor money to the pot and pays a lot to win. This is getting to be more specialized with breeding programs, and trainers that train and ride specifically for this part of the sport. When the competition year is up, the horse can then compete in Derbies which usually don’t have much added so there is not as much incentive to keep them in training and entering these type of races.

Since I am trying to simplify the explanation, I won’t go into 5 and 6D’s. The payout for these varies according to how many are entered. It will pay a variety of amounts in each division, and many folks will fall in “a crack or the hole.” This means that a competitor can out run a hundred horses and not get a check if enough places are not HorseBack_0412_7.5 x 4.88 5/23/12 8:16 PM Page 1

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Slot Races: In these contests there are limited slots, or places, sold for entries. There is a guarantee payout to the top horses. These are usually very expensive to enter, but they are lucrative if you win. As you can see, there are many avenues of competition. What has been dying around my part of Texas the past several years are the amateur rodeos where the entry fees weren’t too expensive and the horses got some rodeo seasoning. If you want to barrel race, you can start at a lower level and work your way up, or just enter and have fun visiting with others who share our love of horses. hB

Kelly Kaminski has twice won the WPRA World Barrel Racing Championship, and has also won the Reserve Championship twice at the National Finals Rodeo. This great American horsewoman continues to compete, hold clinics, and train worthy horses. She is currently accepting a limited number of horses for training.

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Beatin’ the Odds & the Boys!

Mary Walker Lost her Son and then Suffered a Crushing Arena Injury – Then at Age 53, She Won a Championship at the National Finals Rodeo and Beat the Boys! By: Steven Long Photos: Kenneth Springer


April 23, 2011 WPRA World Champion Mary Walker’s beloved only son, Reagon was killed at the all too young age of 21 in a car wreck. Slightly more than a month later, her horse Latte fell with her during a barrel run at the rodeo arena in Crosby, Texas. It was June 10. Most women her age, 53, would have given up. Mary shattered her pelvis, broke her hip in three places, had two fractured vertebrae plus broke two toes. She underwent surgery in Houston the following day and was in a wheelchair for about four months. Doctors used eight plates and 11 pins to stabilize her hip. At her side all the way was her husband Bryan, a PRCA World Champion in his own right. Walker completed her rehab in December 2011 and set her sights on qualifying for the 2012 Wrangler NFR on the same horse that fell with her. A year later, Mary and Latte took the victory lap around the arena at the Thomas and Mack in Las Vegas – the ride all rodeo pokes dream of, either male or female. Oh yeah, we forgot to tell you, the aging rodeo athlete suffers from chronic rheumatoid arthritis and won more money than any of the boys. HORSEBACK: This was your first National Finals Rodeo, right? MARY WALKER: Yes. HORSEBACK: Did you ever come close to qualifying before? MARY: In 1983 I was about $2,000 out from making the finals. HORSEBACK: My gosh, that’s been a long spread of years. MARY: It sure has been. HORSEBACK: You’ve had a whole lot of misfortune in your life that would prohibit just about anybody else from trying something like taking on a run for a world championship at the NFR. You suffer from crippling arthritis, and yet won the world championship. MARY: Yes, I have rheumatoid arthritis. HORSEBACK: You are quite an example for other women and men who endure the pain of arthritis. A lot of people are dysfunctional. MARY: It’s something I deal with everyday, and it’s something I don’t say much about. It’s just something you learn to deal with, stay on top of, and as long as my doctor keeps me going I’m pretty good.

18 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - February 2013

HORSEBACK: How do you deal with it, specifically? Are you on an exercise regimen, is it diet, just what do you do? MARY: I am on medications right now. I was diagnosed when I was 50. They are about to change my medications because it’s not doing what they want it to do. They wanted to do it before the NFR but I told them no, if it didn’t work I could go into a full blown… where I can move, I can’t grab anything. I just try to take as good care of myself as possible. Luckily, it hasn’t affected my joints. I just try to live with it every day. If it wasn’t for the medications, I probably wouldn’t be able to move. They keep close tabs on me. I go to the doctor every two months for blood work. I just take it day by day. HORSEBACK: You’re certainly an inspiration. I read that you lost Reagon in 2011, and a week later you were competing in the arena. We’ve read that your son rides on your shoulder in every run. Again, you were competing in one week after such a horrible tragedy, how on earth did you do that? I don’t think I could have gotten out of bed. MARY: Reagon passed away April 23, 2011, and



then I had the wreck in the arena on June 9th. (Mary’s horse, Latte, fell with her in a barrel race in Crosby, Texas) HORSEBACK: You shattered your pelvis, broke your hip in three places, had two fractured vertebrae, and broke two toes. On top of that, surgeons used eight plates and 11 pins to stabilize your hip and you were in a wheelchair for four months. Now, about a year and a half later, you just won the world, that’s incredible. MARY: I lay there in that stretcher as they were taking me out of the arena and I thought, ‘What in the world have I done to make God mad at me.’ You know, that’s all I could think of. I thought, there’s got to be a reason all this is taking place, and I don’t know the reason. Maybe I’ll figure out what the reason is, and then 2012 came along and I was still recovering from the accident and I started my year out in Odessa and I wasn’t

20 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - February 2013

very strong. If I didn’t have that horse that I have, I couldn’t have made it. HORSEBACK: And that’s the horse that fell in the arena? MARY: The ground was not real good and he lost his footing and fell. I asked myself, do I sell him, or do I do something that I’ve worked for all my life and I knew that he was the horse if I was ever going to make the finals – he would be the one. I said, ‘I’m sick, I don’t know how much longer I have to run barrels, he was two-years-old at the time, and I didn’t know how much longer God would let me do what I enjoy, so I said, ‘You know, don’t be stupid, let’s just go for it, that was a freak accident and it’s just like driving a car and having an accident – I may never have another one. If it works it works, and if it doesn’t, we’ll try again – and it worked. HORSEBACK: Rodeo is a grueling sport. How have you been able to

keep up with the immense amount of practice and travel it requires and remain in top form considering your infirmities? Just qualifying for the NFR takes a lot of miles. MARY: I think we figured out we went 42,000 miles in four months. I rested, and I kept rested really well. I have a driver, and if I didn’t have him, I probably couldn’t make it. And of course there is Bryan, he goes just about every step I do. (husband Bryan Walker is a 16 time steer wrestling NFR qualifier and 1981 World Champion). HORSEBACK: I guess being a rodeo family, this is something you guys have done for decades. Did you travel with him for all those years? MARY: When we first got married I traveled with him for the first three years, I worked for his dad’s insurance agency, and then I had Reagon in 1989 and stayed home with him. I rodeoed around Texas. I had that really good horse that you

Women’s Professional Rodeo Association Fact Sheet Mary: • 2012 World Standings Place: 3rd • 2012 Earnings: $127,292 • Career Earnings: $266,859 • Born: January 26, 1959 • Residence: Ennis, Texas • Joined WPRA: 1983 Horse: • Perculatin “Latte” (8-year old gelding) • Sire: Dash for Perks x Dam: Curiocity Corners • World titles: 1 • Wrangler NFR qualifications: 1 (2012)

need. I just did the Texas rodeos, and then this year we decided to venture out again and see if we could do it. HORSEBACK: If there was anything you could change about rodeo, what would it be? MARY: I don’t think I’d change anything. It’s been so good to me. It’s such a family sport. It’s been our living – the people we’ve met, the friends we’ve met, it’s been wonderful for us. (Bryan is retired and helps Mary in her quest for rodeo glory). He helps me every day, rides the different horses that I have, enters me, Just about all I have to do is get on and ride anymore. HORSEBACK: He’s kind of a nice valet to have around. MARY: He is, he really is (she laughs). hB

Professional 2012 Highlights: • Won All-American Finals (Waco, Texas) • Won Ellensburg (Washington) Rodeo • Won Missoula (Montana) Stampede • Won Snake River Stampede (Nampa, Idaho) • Won Cheyenne (Wyoming) Frontier Days Rodeo • Won Navajo Nation Fourth of July PRCA Rodeo (Window Rock, Arizona) • Won the Earl Anderson Memorial Rodeo (Grover, Colorado) • Won the Ute Mountain Roundup (Cortez, Colorado) • Won the Ken Lance Memorial (Ada, Oklahoma) • Won the Flint Hills Rodeo (Strong City, Kansas) • Won Rodeo (Killeen, Texas) • Co-champion at the Chisholm Trail Stampede PRCA Rodeo (Duncan, Oklahoma) • Won Arcadia All-FLA Championship Rodeo Awards

Perculatin named 2012 AQHA/WPRA Barrel Horse of the Year. February 2013 - HORSEBACK MAGAZINE


Todd Fritsch Roping in Fans


graced the pages of Country Weekly, Texas Music, and Country Music People magazines. But when the tour was over, he headed back to Willow Springs, Texas - to his family’s ranch to help out with the daily undertaking of moving and working cattle. Then just three years ago, a horrific roping accident and injury forced Todd out of the saddle and off the stage.

h e

enduring cowboys from old western movies like Roy Rogers and Gene Autry, who were a whiz at riding and roping, could also stop their horse on a dime, and grab a guitar to sing to the purple sage. Unfortunately these icons of the black and white Saturday movies have long since gone the way of the “Tumblin’ T u m b l e w e e d s ”. Today’s true cowboy, much like other modern professionals, is focused on doing only one thing well, be it roping, bull riding, or broncos. We now leave the singing to the country artist and the rodeo to the cowboys - that is unless you are Todd Fritsch. Astride his horse during the day, Todd is a true working Texas cowboy, and yet when the day winds down he is just as apt to pick up the guitar and blend traditional country music with the harmony of his powerfully smooth vocals. Todd began professionally singing in his early 20s, kicking off his start in

22 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - February 2013

the music industry with two wellreceived albums - “Todd Fritsch and Sawdust”. Within less than ten years he had toured and performed on stages throughout the U.S. and Europe, entertaining audiences alongside Lee Ann Womack, Joe Nichols, and Marty Stuart. He

“My horse slipped and fell. My rope, which was tied off, had slipped around my foot and when the horse got up and broke into a run, my leg just snapped,” says Todd. The major injury left Todd immobile for months and all the scheduled concerts and recording were immediately put on hold. Publisher and Producer Butch Baker, the renowned Nashville tune smith, had just recorded a first track for Todd and now that too seems destine to disappear and not make it to the country music charts. “It would have been real easy to just be depressed,” reflects Todd. “Everything was

By: Margaret Pirtle

going my way - and then it all just ground to a halt. But I focused on what I could do instead of what I couldn’t do and that kept me going.” Todd, who had grown up roping and working cattle now found that he couldn’t even apply his skills on the ranch and as a entertainer, his singing career was now on hold. The only thing left open to him while he mended from his injuries was to transition to the “business” end of the ranch life. The change in careers, from the horse to the desk, and from roping to the sale barn was a shock - not only for Todd, but also for his Dad. “I think he was a little surprised that I took to the buying and selling end of things so quickly,” Todd laughs. “It’s always been his ‘job.’ Now I’m at the sale barns three to four days a week and loving it.” The Texas drought of 2010 wiped out almost one third of the feeding operations in Texas. Todd’s family ranch was one of the lucky ones who not only didn’t disappear, but actually expanded. When the rains came and the Fritsch cattle operation went back to normal, the ranch found it was running 20 percent more head of cattle. “It was really hard to put the

music on hold, but my family and this ranch are the most important things in the world to me,” Todd admits. “We had to get aggressive to survive, and ultimately, I think that what I’ve learned working on this side of the cattle business will actually help me with my music.” Fritsch will soon have a chance to see if his theory proves true: a lifestyle-saving knee surgery

in December 2011 has put Todd back in the saddle - and back on the stage. With a new CD, Up Here In The Saddle, which has just been released, Todd is once again on stage. But being away from the record industry for several years, and with a two year old daughter and a son on the way, something’s in Todd’s life have changed for ever. “The best way I can explain it is to say that it’s the difference between me at 26 and me at 30; I’ve grown up a lot. Singing falls into the second slot now in my life.”

But being in second place doesn’t mean it’s going away. His music, much like Todd has evolved into a more meaningful experience the new album, which Todd believes is his best to date, is a collection of original songs which draw from a rich narrative tradition. His baritone voice, backed by Nashville’s best musicians gives the listener a sense of who Todd is now as a singer and a person. Todd is one of those rare Texas bred cowboys. A man who through sacrifice and hard work has stood astride both the world of ranching and music and in doing so makes the duel careers look like they come easy to him. He’s a horse trainer and breeder who specializes in the famous Colonel Freckles and Gay Bar King lines of American Quarter Horses, and he is featured in Lisa Wysocky’s popular book, Horse Country: A Celebration of Country Music And The Love Of Horses. Though the last few years have brough major changes to Todd’s life, he will be the first to tell you that he is happy with the outcome and that his life, like his voice is in complete harmony. hB





amily, quality time matters and if you love to cook and entertain, then change an under used patio into an outdoor kitchen and grillers paradise to match your passion. Designer Joe Prendki planned this kitchen to serve as the center of family outdoor gatherings. The goal was to give this family a outdoor kitchen area that flowed naturally with the other spaces of the backyard and could be enjoyed by family and friends. Long gone are the days when the grillmaster of the family is moved to a corner spot and left out of the fun of the occasion.

The kitchen area has a stainless steel grill, sink and appliances, as well as outlets for additional appliances. A beverage refrigerator, stocked with drinks, keeps everyone cool and hydrated on hot Texas summer days. Coordinating with the sleek modern steal kitchen is faced with natural rock that coalesces beautifully in the great outdoors. Outdoor lighting is built throughout the patio area ensuring this intimate retreat is open all hours.

Choose an area that will flow naturally to becon friends and family! Mixing your hardscape elements, like your outdoor kitchen, with softer components such as plants and trees, helps to create a perfectly cozy atmosphere that will beckon your friends and family season after season.

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 24 MAGAZINE - February 2013 24 HHORSEBACK ORSEBACK MAGAZINE - February 2013


Roadhouse Relics

on’t let the hundreds of neon beer signs you see when you drive around the country fool you. In a nation humming with colored glowing lights, the world of true authentic neon art signs from days gone by are getting harder and harder to find. But Todd Sanders, of Roadhouse Relics in Austin, Texas has the passion and skill of a urban archaeologists who searches out these early neon signs and restores their luster and shine. The result is an artist, whose medium is neon and who can restore or create vintage signs using the original techniques of the neon artists from the 1920s to the 1960’s. Neon art is not a subject

taught in most schools or colleges. So Todd, through old neon sign magazines and books gave himself the education needed to begin a career in the craft. With almost two decades of experience with vintage signs, he can create a work of art that pays homage to the past without sacrificing modern sensibilities. Each work is made by hand, without the use of a computer aided design. His knowledge of typography,

style is painstakingly done - from sketching, to creating the metal, neon and paint patterns, to custom weathering and patina. Neon art is an American tradition that Todd Sanders is preserving. He’s one of those rare specialists who is sought after by both art collectors and advertisers and has become a legend in the world of neon. His award winning pieces have appeared in The Museum of Neon Art, Robert Rodriguez films, Esquire, Texas Monthly, and Southern Living. Celebrity clientele includes Shepard Fairey, Norah Jones, Willie Nelson and ZZ Top.

Visit Roadhouse Relics at: 1720 S. First Street, Austin, TX

(512) 442-6366

713-427-2487 February 2013 - HORSEBACK MAGAZINE February 2013 - HORSEBACK MAGAZINE

25 25



tainless has many different properties and uses which makes it a prime choice for use in our modern society. From residential countertops to industrial buildings, steel is always the favored component of many of the world’s most daring construction projects because of its corrosion resistant

properties and easy maintenance. What makes it so versatile are businesses like Custom Stainless Steel Fabricators in Houston.. They have the precise ability to take a sheet of stainless and transform it into most any product or structure that your desire.

From hunting lodge tables, to barbecue pits; from marine cabinets to restaurant equipment, stainless steel is the main ingredient of a successful outcome for any building project. With 40 years of experience behind them, Custom Stainless Steel Fabricators specialize in designing virtually any steel item for your needs. Before you start eyeballing parts of your home or office for stainless steel replacements, you would be best served to give a Custom Stainless Steel a call for a free consultation. Their expertise in dealing with design and durability allows you to find out what is best for your specific project. Below is a list of some of the items that they can custom create to your exact needs.

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Roughing It In

Luxury cozy to grand and sprawing. While each take on their own personality, each log home is one of the most engergyefficient homes on the market today. When you combine your log home, with a beautiful country landscape, you begin to become one with the nature that surrounds you. It is then that you really understand and appreciate the appeal offered by a luxury log home.


oday’s log homes redefine the meaning of rustic living. The old musty cabin of days past has now become a comtempory home of luxury and prestige. The sturdiness is still there . But the amentities and architectual grace has taken logs to a new modern

interpretation. From the delicate wood features and various stains you may choose, log cabin designers, like Wayne Dobbs of Cypress/Cedar Log Homes of Texas, takes pride in showcasing the amazing craftmanship and detail for todays buyer. House plans vary from small and

To Begin Your Own Log Home Contact: Wayne Dobbs Cypress/Cedar Log Homes of Texas

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Fireplace - Nothing beats the allure and aroma of a traditional fireplace, 2 • Outdoor especially if it’s outdoors and can be enjoyed by friends and family alike. Call today,

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29 29

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3. 4. 5. 6.

1. Prepare your grill for medium heat. 2. Wearing gloves, slice the jalapenos lengthwise without breaking all the way through. Make small cuts at the stem and tip so that you can open up the jalapeno without breaking it up too much. Use a small paring knife or spoon to scrape out all of the inside seeds and membranes. Clean them out really well unless you like a super hot popper. Insert a stick of cheese into the pepper. Next wedge as much of the shrimp into the jalapeno as possible with the tail end sticking out. Depending on the size of your shrimp and the size of your jalapenos this might be easy or hard. If there is not enough room just get as much of the shrimp in as you can. The bacon wrapping will hold them together. Wrap the shrimp and jalapeno tightly with a strip of bacon, stretching and overlapping slightly as you go. Secure the bacon with a toothpick. Repeat. Grill poppers until bacon is crisp and browned all over, turning as needed. The bacon fat will melt off and some cheese may melt out so watch for flare-ups.


Beefmasters Not Your Ordinary Team Sport! 30 The BIG

Thirty Year Anniversary for Beefmaster Cook-Off Team


was back in 1983 when the a group of Houston businessmen got together and formed the Houston Beefmasters. This year they are celebrating their 30th birthday of cooking brisket, ribs and chicken for hundreds of visitors to their booth at the Houston World Championship Cook-Off.

In 1987 they won the title of Grand Champion and were runner up the for the title of Grand Champion in 1988. They will be back in the pit this year again, waging the cook-off battle of the BBQ against hundred of other teams. Congratulations for 30 years of some of the best tasting BBQ in Texas and Best of Luck in the pits this year.

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31 31

Have you ever owned a custom set of tack? Are you tired of the same old designs? If you’re shaking your head, then you aren’t alone and

there is a easy answer to both the questions above. Jozee Girl Designs is just what you are looking for to allow you to stand out from the crowd. Tack sets are adorned with the highest quality of Swarovski Crystals, each individually hand set and created just for you. With tack sets from any of the local stores reaching higher in price, there just isn’t a good reason to settle for plain and not get a set that allows you to show your inner glitz. Use your imagina-

tion and come up with something you would really like to see on your tack. Then just contact Leann Davis, of Jozee Girl Designs and let her take that dream and make it a reality. If you really don’t have a clue what you would like, then Leann has lots of already created tack for your horse. From stirrups to saddles the bling is ready for your horse. And if you are feeling left out and in need of some glitz yourself, don’t worry, she also carries accessories just for you. Check out what she has to offer at: or give her a call at: (503)313-7854

Here Comes the Ride.

Wedding Carriage Service 32 32 HHORSEBACK ORSEBACKM MAGAZINE AGAZINE--February February2013 2013

Local Nationwide Agents support our Stock show & Rodeo participants!

©2013 Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and Affiliated Companies. Nationwide Life Insurance Company, Nationwide Lloyds and Property & Casualty Insurance Companies in TX. Home office: Columbus, Ohio 43215-2220. Nationwide the Nationwide Framemark and On Your Side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. Not available in all states. Subject to underwriting guidelines, review and approval.



Blue Corduroy


swarm of blue corduroy jackets seem to fill every stall and aisle of the Houston Livestock Show every February as FFA students from across Texas bring their livestock to show. While the jackets haven’t changed much from what the Future Farmers wore in the 1930’s - a new face has emerged from the old traditional FFA. One that isn’t just about livestock or farming, but one that is attuned to scientific research, agri-entrepreneurs, grass and wildlife management, and bioengineering. FFA students today are preparing to be the industry scientists and renewable engineers of tomorrow.


Sparks fly with sounds and sights of welding torches breaking the silence of normal class work as FFA students at Klein Oak create a custom trailer and other various projects. Jake Prince, the shop advisor lets his students know that real world success comes from being able to produce. He guides students with a variety of projects and the ability to produce them that will help them excel in the workforce as they leave the confines of school. From wildlife genetics to greenhouse botany, the


students are making inroads into some of the largest problems that are facing our world as we try and find solutions to food productions and saving our land for future generations. “ We are handson with all our subject matter,” Mike Hainline tells me. Mike is one of the five FFA advisors at Klein Oak, a group of teachers who job it is, not only to teach a subject, but who’s goal is giving their students a firm basis

for mastering the future challenges of tomorrow’s world. While many students still raise livestock or work with plants, others are interested in the economics of the food industry, environmental law, land conservation and bio fuels. The echo of a shift in what FFA was 20 or 30 years ago is evident here. From the old intent on raising good farmers, what has now erupted at Klein Oak is the modern booming fields that FFA students now can aspire to work within. From the classroom to the green houses, and barns, FFA students and their advisors are planting the seeds of their knowledge. They have braided and woven the old traditional FFA into a new urban setting that will allow their students to become leaders in their fields.



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Katy FFA

ABOVE: Members of Katy FFA

Way back in 1943, Katy had a small vocational agricultural program that wasn’t winning any applause, in fact the school board had almost decided to discontinue it from the school schedule completely. It was at this time that L.D. Robinson arrived and with a plan in hand he presented his ideas at a Katy High School fatherand-son banquet. He emphasized that his plan would be selfsupporting and would not cost the school district one cent. Robinson only had $57 in the

FFA’s chapter treasury and from that he took $45 dollars and bought pigs to be raised and sold. In April the pigs were ready, but not a place to hold the auction. A fence was placed around the football field for an auction pen and the next day they held a “Cowboy Sports Rally” using local talent. Thus marked the beginning of the Katy FFA Livestock Show and Rodeo. It became the first full service program of it’s kind on a local school level in the nation and today Katy is known nationwide as one of

the premier FFA Chapters. Robinson was selected outstanding agriculture science teacher in the nation before he retired, and today’s Katy FFA advisors follow in his foot steps keeping the current students active in community shows and educating them toward a future in the science of agriculture. Right now the FFA students are in full swing with a schedule of shows, rodeo’s and judging contests that would make even the most hardened traveler cringe. Approximately 125 students will be traveling the state showing off their skills in a wide range of subjects from meats, land, floral, dairy foods, horses, and cattle. They will be showing at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and with their golden record of achievement, we know that they will be a showcase for FFA’s future.

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Combines Riding and Sales to Help Horse Owners


urchasing real estate can be exciting, but it can also be stressful. If you are not equipped with the right information or realtor, you face the possibility of making mistakes that could haunt you for many years. This can be especially true when purchasing property not only for your family, but for your equine enjoyment. Not all realtors are equiped with the knowledge of what can make a great place for a horse or other livestock. Issues like available water and good pasture might not be a issue when purchasing a home in a city, but become paramount when searching for a homestead with land. That is when you need to call on a professional farm and ranch specialist, like Wendy Cline, to make sure that your investment will be the perfect purchase for your livestyle. Wendy, who specializes in the

is quick to point out that her three horses, Buckshot, Tequila and High C remind her daily of what is important in life. When not searching for property, you can find Wendy at weekly western competititions including reining, working cowhorse, trail, western pleasure and barrel racing. So, if land is in your future, don’t use just any realtor. Go for the Gold Buckle & call:

Wendy Cline Broker Associate with

Re/Max Realty Center

counties of Harris, Ft Bend, Waller, Grimes and Mongtomery, is also licenced to go state-wide to find the perfect property. With her top Texas producing team, she can find what is best for all clients from commercial, multifamily properties, forclosures or ranches. If you ask Wendy, what makes her the best in her field, she

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37 37

Horse Bites - Con’t. from pg. 11

will continue during the actual green classes. At the conclusion of each run, the exhibitor will be given a sheet showing the judge’s scores for each maneuver. The National Reining Breeders Classic is the most successful stallion incentive program in reining history. In just 16 years, the NRBC has grown to include upwards of 200 subscribed stallions and in 2012, there were more than 2,100 enrolled foals. Annually, the payout at the NRBC exceeds $1.3 million. For information on the NRBC, visit the web site at or call 580759-3939. The 2013 NRBC will be held April 15-21 at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy, Texas.

Guadalajara Loses FEI World Cup Finals! Games Could Come to Las Vegas

LAUSANNE, (FEI) – The FEI Bureau has withdrawn their hosting rights for the FEI World Cup Jumping and Dressage Finals in 2015 from Guadalajara (MEX). The organizers have been unable to meet

the requirements in full that were imposed by the FEI Bureau when the Finals were allocated to Guadalajara at its meeting in June of last year. “The FEI truly appreciates the efforts that the Guadalajara organizers put in to try and meet all the requirements,” FEI Secretary General Ingmar De Vos said, “but as they were unable to fulfill them within the agreed timeline, the FEI Bureau was left with no choice but to withdraw the Finals. In spite of this set-back, we hope that the Mexican Federation will consider hosting a major FEI event in the future, as we are very keen to see a world class equestrian event organized in the region.” Guadalajara and Las Vegas (USA) both put in bids to host the 2015 Finals, but although Guadalajara is no longer involved, hosting rights will not automatically be transferred to the American city. The FEI has contacted the Las Vegas organizers to see if they are still interested in staging the double Final in 2015 and, if they confirm their

continued interest. Allocation of the Finals to Las Vegas will be dependent on the organizers fulfilling all the requirements. Following receipt of this information from Las Vegas, the ultimate decision on allocation of the Finals will be made by the FEI Bureau. Canada Will Vie for Games LAUSANNE, (FEI) – The Canadian bid team hoping to host the FEI World Equestrian Games in 2018, will present to the FEI Evaluation Commission next month as part of the bid process prior to a final decision on the host city in June. Canada has nominated Bromont, which staged the equestrian events for the 1976 Olympic Games, as the venue for 2018. The bid committee, which is expected to include the Mayor of Bromont, Pauline Quinlan, and Equine Canada President Mike Gallagher, will travel to FEI Headquarters in Lausanne (SUI) on 26-27 February for meetings with the

reach for the in-set contoured pad!

38 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - February 2013

Horse Bites - Con’t. on pg. 40

Evaluation Commission. A five-strong FEI delegation, representing the Federation’s sports, veterinary, commercial and financial departments, conducted a site visit of the Bromont venue at the end of November last year. Following the Bromont presentation on February 27, the FEI Evaluation Commission will produce a report for the Bureau. The Bromont bid team will then return to Lausanne for the in-person Bureau meeting in June and will make a formal presentation, prior to the Bureau vote that will decide the allocation of the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018. The FEI confirmed this week that no signed host agreement had been received from the Austrians before the December 2012 deadline, meaning that Vienna is no longer in the running to host the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018. “It is of course disappointing to have lost Vienna as one of our bid cities for the FEI World Equestrian Games in 2018,” said FEI Secretary General Ingmar De Vos, “but we are

very much looking forward to seeing the presentation from Bromont when the Canadians come to FEI Headquarters in Lausanne at the end of next month to present their bid book to the FEI Evaluation Commission.” Horsemeat Scandal Raises Ethical Questions about Slaughtering Horses

LONDON, (Humane Society International) – In the wake of recent revelations that quantities of horse meat have been found in beef burgers for sale in the United Kingdom and Ireland, Humane Society International affirms that there is widespread confusion about the origin of horsemeat in the European food chain as well as an aversion to eating horses, as indicated in a recent survey by Ipsos MORI. HSI also raises concerns about inadequate labelling and potential health risks. “We don’t yet know how horsemeat came to be in these beef burgers, but consumers have rightly raised questions about how much is really

known about the origin of our food,” said Joanna Swabe, Ph.D., European Union director of HSI. “Killing horses for meat raises serious ethical questions and causes extreme disquiet. Horses are sensitive, sentient animals for whom the long-distance transport and slaughter process can be hugely distressing. Research commissioned by Humane Society International shows that many EU citizens would prefer to avoid eating horsemeat altogether and only a very small percentage claim to eat it frequently.” A retail investigation recently conducted by HSI reveals that many EU consumers may be completely unaware of the origin of horsemeat — or that they are buying horsemeat at all — due to inadequate labeling. HSI’s report into the availability of horsemeat in Belgium, France and the Netherlands found horsemeat products to be widely available to consumers in these countries in a variety of forms: fresh chilled products, processed horsemeat products, such as sliced smoked meats, salami and sausages. Horsemeat was also found as a ‘hidden



Horse Bites - Con’t. from pg. 39

ingredient’ in cheap convenience meat snack products, particularly in Belgium and the Netherlands. The study observes that it is likely that consumers may be completely unaware that these products contain horsemeat. The retail investigation found that only fresh, chilled cuts of horsemeat were labeled with reliable country of origin information. In contrast, the study concluded that it is impossible for consumers to ascertain where the meat used in processed horsemeat products originally comes from because the product markings, if present, refer to where the product has been manufactured and packaged, rather than to where the animals from which it derives have been raised and slaughtered. The horsemeat trade in Europe results in around 200,000 horses being killed for their meat in the EU. Tens of thousands of horses suffer long-distance transportation to satisfy this trade. An additional hundreds of thousands of kilos of horsemeat gets imported into the EU annually from abattoirs in other countries, such as Canada and Mexico. Horsemeat imported to Europe

40 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - February 2013

from third countries may pose a risk to human health. Horses in the United States that end up slaughtered are routinely given veterinary drugs banned for use in food-producing animals in Europe. Without assurances that third parties have implemented food safety systems equivalent to those provided by EU legislation, HSI urges the European Commission to exercise the Precautionary Principle and place a moratorium on imports of horsemeat of U.S. origin. USDA Adopts Animal Disease Traceability Program WASHINGTON, (American Horse Council) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has instituted its Animal Disease Traceability Program (ADTP) to improve its ability to trace livestock, including horses, in the event of a disease outbreak. The new system applies to all livestock moving interstate. Under the new federal regulations, horses moving interstate

must be identified and accompanied by an Interstate Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (ICVI). The new system is built on methods of identification and movement documentation that are already employed in the horse industry, e.g., written descriptions, digital photographs, brands, tattoos, electronic identification methods, and interstate certificates of veterinary inspection. The person or entity responsible for moving the horse interstate must ensure that it has an ICVI or other document required by the new rule. The ADTP will be administered by the states with federal support. The new rules also apply to movements to and from a Tribal area. In those cases, the Tribal authorities are involved in the system. Background The horse industry has been dramatically affected by serious disease outbreaks in the

Horse Bites - Con’t. on pg. 42

last ten years, which have halted or restricted the movement of horses and the commerce surrounding the horses. The new program is intended to help the Department, state authorities and the horse industry better deal with such disease outbreaks and to minimize disease effects on horses and economic effects on owners and the industry. This new rule is based on the previous National Animal Identification System (NAIS), which was the original voluntary system proposed by USDA to deal with disease outbreaks and traceability. Since the prior rule was voluntary and generated significant concerns over complexity, confidentiality, liability, cost and privacy, it was not supported and was rethought. USDA reconsidered its approach and decided that rather than attempting to identify every animal, every premise, and every movement to achieve traceability within 48 hours of a disease outbreak, it would develop a more limited and simpler system. The ADTP just adopted is the result. The new system



Horse Bites - Con’t. from pg. 41

does not require the registration of premises housing livestock or the specific reporting of individual movements of horses. Effective Date The new rules will be effective March 11, 2013. We expect that there will be a transition period during which USDA has suggested it will not enforce the new rule. This is to give livestock owners time to understand the rules and make any changes necessary to comply. We don’t know how long that period might be. Specific Requirements for Horse Owners Under the new regulations, horses moving interstate must be (1) identified prior to movement and (2) accompanied by an Interstate Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (ICVI) or other state-approved document. All states now require an ICVI to accompany any horse entering their state. This should make for a smooth transition to the new traceability rule since most horse owners moving their horses

interstate for breeding, racing, showing, recreation, etc. should already be in compliance with the provisions in the new rule. Identification of Horses. Horses that are required to be officially identified under the new rules may be identified by one of the following methods: • A description sufficient to identify the individual horse including, but not limited to, name, age, breed, color, gender, distinctive markings, and unique and permanent forms of identification, such as brands, tattoos, scars, cowlicks, blemishes, or biometric measurements). In the event that the identity of the horse is in question at the receiving destination, the state animal health official in the state of destination or APHIS representative may determine if the description provided is sufficient; or • Electronic identification (Animal Identification Number) that complies with ISO 11784/11785; or • Non-ISO electronic identification injected into the horse on or before March 11, 2014; or


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Horse Bites - Con’t. on pg. 45

• Digital photographs sufficient to identify the individual horse; or • A USDA backtag for horses being transported to slaughter as required by the Commercial Transport of Horses to Slaughter regulations. Animal Identification Numbers and microchips are an option, but not a requirement for horses. ICVI Requirements. Under the new rules, horses moved interstate must be accompanied by an ICVI or other document acceptable to the states involved. The person or entity responsible for moving the horse interstate must ensure it has an ICVI or other document. The APHIS representative, state representative or accredited veterinarian issuing the ICVI or other document must forward a copy to the state health official in the state of origin within seven days of issuing the document. The state representative in the state of origin must forward a copy to the state representative in the state of destination within seven days of receiving it. In the event of a disease



outbreak, these documents will be used to trace horses that are or have been at the site of the outbreak and horses that have come into contact with them. The new regulations give states the discretion to approve other methods of movement documentation, which may include an EIA test chart, when agreed upon by the animal health officials in the states involved in the interstate movement. While not specifically referenced, movement documents could also include an event passport. USDA has maintained options in the final rule to support the use of other movement documentation, for example an owner-shipper statement or brand certificate, if agreed to by the state animal health officials involved. Retention of Records Currently, states bear the responsibility for the collection, maintenance, and retrieval of data on interstate livestock movements. These responsibilities will be maintained under the new rules. The

for your horse

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animal health official or accredited veterinarian issuing or receiving an ICVI or other document must keep a copy for five years to ensure horses can be identified and traced if a disease manifests itself at or after an event. Exclusions There are exclusions to the new requirements for the following horses: • Horses used as a mode of transportation (horseback, horse and buggy) for travel to another location that return directly to the original location. • Horses moved from a farm or stable for veterinary treatment that are returned to the same location without change in ownership. • Horses moved directly from a location in one state through another state to a second location in the original state. • Horses moved between shipping and receiving states with another form of identification or documentation other than an ICVI, e.g., a horse infectious anemia test chart, as agreed to by the shipping and receiving states or tribes involved in the movement.




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44 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - February 2013

industry. In 1949, Morton constructed its first farm storage building. After that, the demand for high quality storage buildings grew and by 1964, the Interlocking Fence Company decided to focus its efforts entirely on buildings and construction. To reflect this new direction, the company changed its name to Morton Buildings, Inc. Over the years Morton has expanded its product line and now offers a wide range of building options to fit every building use and budget. For more information, visit or contact your local sales office.

Horse Bites - Con’t. from pg. 43

Horse Bites - Con’t. on pg. 50

2013 National Reining Breeders Classic to be Featured on NRHA Inside Reining HOUSTON, (NRBC) – The National Reining Breeders Classic has announced that the 2013 NRBC Show will hit the airwaves in June! The television show, NRHA Inside Reining, will feature the NRBC in two separate segments. The first segment, featuring the NRBC Open competition, will air June 4 and 11 and the second segment, highlighting the Non Pro riders, is slated for June 18 and 25. Available in all fifty states and internationally through DISH Network, DIRECTV and NCTC cable, RFD-TV serves over 41 million homes. Inside Reining is the only show dedicated to the sport of reining. Now in its seventh season, its combination of lifestyle, training, horse health tips and industry news attract the entire reining world. We’re thrilledDetering1-2Page.pdf for the NRBC to be featured 4 9/21/12 2:02 in the two June shows.

After a clean start out of the gate, the steer veered in front of Moonshine, causing a horrific collision which took horse, steer and bulldogger Todd Suhn crashing to the arena dirt. A horn went through Moonshine’s side and punctured his heart. The horse was able to leave the arena on his own power, but died shortly thereafter. Suhn and the steer were unharmed. “Moonshine was without a doubt the best steer wrestling horse I have ever had,” Melvin said. “He was the kind of horse that you just dream about; honest and he just loved his job.” It was a view widely shared by bulldoggers at the top level of the sport. Casey Martin and Suhn rode Moonshine at last December’s Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and in Denver. Martin entered the final round Jan. 27 leading the two-head average after making two runs on Moonshine in 7.8 seconds and held on for the victory. The eight-year-old horse had helped PRCA cowboys to nearly

Another benefit for viewers – the shows will air as scheduled and then will be posted atwww. for online viewing for the remainder of the show season. The National Reining Breeders Classic is the most successful stallion incentive program in reining history. In just fifteen years, the NRBC has grown to include over 225 subscribed stallions tens of thousands of enrolled foals. For information on the NRBC, visit the web site at or call 580-7593939. Great steer wrestling horse Moonshine dies DENVER, (PRCA) – Dru Melvin’s great steer wrestling horse Diamond MS Moon, “Moonshine,” died Jan. 26 as the result of injuries suffered during competition at the National Western Stock Show Rodeo in the PM Denver Coliseum.


herman detering W W W .H E R M A N D E T E R I N G . C O M

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$300,000 in earnings in just three years. “I’ve ridden a lot of horses in my career,” said Suhn, a 16-time Wrangler NFR qualifier, “and most of them I’ve trained myself. Moonshine was definitely one of the best. I’ve run thousands of steers and never seen anything like this happen in my life. My heart goes out to Dru and Brittany (Melvin). I know how much Moonshine meant to them.” Moonshine is being transported back to the Melvins’ family ranch in Hebron, Neb., where he will be buried. He was the first horse the couple owned together and was included in their engagement photos because he was considered so much a part of the family. Florida Woman Takes the Coffee Clatch to a New Level – Dressage LOXAHATCHEE, FL ( JRPR) World class equestrian Betsy Steiner is excited to introduce a new program designed to help women expand their dressage coaching and training and apply it in a very fun

way. The Ladies’ Club (TLC) is a weekly social gathering for women being held throughout the 2013 winter season in Florida. Although this program is designed for women to get together and socialize, this Ladies Club doesn’t come anywhere near your average coffee-clutch or typical knitting circle. “It’s serious dressage, but not in such a serious, scheduled kind of way,” Steiner explains about the program. “Its purpose is to have ladies come over to enjoy their horses, enjoy the process, learn about dressage, and be together in the ring for a broader experience,” she continues, “but, most importantly, it’s about having fun with your horse!” Steiner had the idea to start the club as a result of her own personal enjoyment of working together with other riders by performing in quadrilles, and she wants to offer this experience to others. “Sometimes, you can learn more thoroughly in a group situation, where you ride your horse while forgetting about other things. When you work together with your horse and other people, it’s so much fun, and through this

camaraderie, you find you actually get closer to your horse.” Barrel Racers Move World Finals to Waco COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (WPRA) – The Women’s Professional Rodeo Association’s Board of Directors announced the new home for the WPRA World Finals will be in Waco, Texas, at the Extraco Events Center. The agreement between the WPRA and the Extraco Events Center is for two years. “We are excited to bring the WPRA World Finals to Waco and this great facility,” said WPRA President Jimmie Munroe. “The World Finals highlights our entire Association at the highest level this sport has to offer and we feel this will be a great fit to continue the growth we experienced while in Lincoln.” The dates for the 2013 event will be October 23-27 and the 2014 tentative dates will be October 2226. Many of the WPRA members will be familiar with this great facility. It serves as the home for

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the Heart O’ Texas Fair & Rodeo, the All-American ProRodeo Finals and the Ram Texas Circuit Finals Rodeo. The facility features two indoor arenas – the Extraco Coliseum, known as one of the largest indoor arenas in the State of Texas, and the Extraco Show Pavilion. In addition to the great arenas the facility boasts 700 dirt stalls, 250 RV spaces, a large exhibitor area and plenty of hotel accommodations in the area. “We are thrilled to bring the WPRA Finals to Waco,” said Wes Allison, President/CEO of the Extraco Events Center. “This event is the best of the best in women’s professional rodeo and will be a

Reno Photo by Laura Leigh, Horseback Magazine called the Lancaster great event to attend as well as Event Center in Lincoln, Neb., home having a positive economic impact for the past three years. In addition on McLennan County.” to the aforementioned world title The WPRA World Finals, competitions, there is also plenty of which crowns world champions in barrel racing action with special events the roping divisions – breakaway, like a permit-only race and a cardholder team roping (heading and heeling) and tie-down roping, the futurity race to name a few. and derby division and the WPRA Junior barrel racing division, has

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The Horse is Always Right Really!?


verybody makes mistakes. The wisest person can misjudge, the smartest can miscalculate, the fairest can be unfair, and the kindest, unkind. Humans are not infallible, so why should we believe that horses are? I suppose the idea behind the expression, “The horse is always right”, is that, no matter what a horse does in a training situation, it is simply acting out of instinct and self-preservation, trying to please or avoid trouble with a human. While presenters use this idea to promote humane training techniques, (which is good), it presents a naive and oversimplified picture of

horse behavior. In addition to herd and prey instinct, factors such as individual intelligence, disposition, previous interaction with humans, personality, and mood, play complex roles in how each horse will respond to a particular situation. For example, a horse brought in from the range for its first time, will respond instinctively, to join-up signals, moving away quickly from the handler’s frontal shoulders, eye contact, raised hand, etc.. Anxious for the handler’s companionship in the absence of its herd mates, it will give obvious signals; liplicking, ground smelling, etc., that it wants to join up, and will typically do so immediately, once the handler averts her eyes, and turns her shoulders away. If the horse jumps away

52 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - February 2013

the first time the handler reaches for its forehead, it is doing so instinctually, not because it is trying to “fool” the handler. You could say, this horse is “right.” On the other hand, a horse more familiar with humans and this situation, will require more obvious signals to move away and around, and may not be at all anxious to join up, since it’s not so concerned about being away from its herd mates. It may even “tease” its handler, repeatedly acting as though it is ready to join up, then darting away again. Molly, my bareback- bridleless exhibition mare does this. She even adds a little buck as she zips away, knowing what she is expected to do, but deciding to “play” with her handler instead. The same in-bred traits that make her highly trainable, also give her the cleverness to manipulate this situation. Although her behavior is not malicious, it could be dangerous to an unaware handler, and I will discourage it in the future. As wonderful a horse as she is, Molly is not “right” in this case. Personality can play a strong role in a horse’s behavior, not always in the “right” way. One of our horses has a strong, confident, laid-back personality. He often playfully picks on other members of the herd, until somebody finally gets tired of it, and retaliates. This horse sometimes forgets that humans aren’t other horses, and tries to play with or intimidate us in the same way. He may not be malicious, but his nips are not “right” or acceptable behavior. We “nip” his human harassment ideas in the bud, by approaching him with assertive body language, and correcting him in a non-emotional way, with a bump of an elbow to his nose, or a tap in the shin with our toe, at the first sign of his intention to nip. This reminds him that we are humans, not horses, and that this behavior is not acceptable in his interactions with us. (Interestingly, he is also one of our most affectionate horses.) A horse’s mood can also color its behavior. When we begin a ride, we instruct our riders, to inhale as they sit tall, and gently close their lower legs onto their horse’s sides. As they maintain this position and breath out, their horse will have instinctively lifted its back, and will begin to move forward. However, when carrying a new rider, one of the horses may acknowledge the rider’s signals by flicking its ear, but not move.

The horse isn’t confused, he just chose not to respond. Maybe he’s bored. Maybe he just doesn’t feel like going to work. (We’ve all had those days!) Although we may sympathize with him, his behavior is only as “right” as that of a 10 year old refusing to do his homework. We’ll ask the rider to repeat her signals, then attach a follow-up tap or a bump to the end of the rider’s exhale, if necessary, making sure the horse responds. There are much more extreme examples in which a horse is not “right”. In the documentary, “Buck”, Buck Brannaman, sadly tells a woman that her horse will never be safe for her to interact with, due to the aggressive behavior it developed as a result of being “spoiled” as an orphan foal, leading it to have no respect for humans. Perhaps the horse was “right” at one time, but, in Buck’s estimation, it will never be again. I recall a Horseback article in which Pat Parelli tells about a performance

world from each individual horse’s point of view, and make our corrections in an appropriate, unemotional way. If you’re not sure whether your horse’s behavior is justified in a certain situation, consider all of the factors influencing that behavior in a common sense way, then ask your Trusted Source for their opinion and advise. By the way, of the people and horses I’ve known and loved most, none went through life without making an occasional mistake. Yet these mistakes have not made them less perfect in my eyes, just more human, or horse.

stallion which, out of the clear blue, attacked his handler, injuring him Always Remember to Enjoy the Ride! seriously. This horse was definitely not “right”, and Mr. Parelli used it hB as an example of why he advises the Dianne can be reached at Hill Country Equestrian Lodge where she teaches Whole majority of us never to own a stallion. Horsemanship year-round. Perhaps what we can learn from all, these examples is not that the horse is or (830) 796-7950 always right, but that we must see the

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“February Freezes” for the night with hay to munch on is not convenient, so, when it drops into the low 20’s or teens, we blanket the horses with waterproof, or water repellant blankets. We Horseback Magazine’s also blanket if it is a freezing rain with a cold north wind. Saddle & Tack Editor Years ago, I sold winter blankets as one of my main lines exas Weather, we all know, when I was a manufacturer’s rep. is notorious for change - The company is no longer in one day, 70 degrees, next business, but the quality and fit of day, 30 degrees. It’s hard on the blankets I sold was legendary. us, but it’s hard on our equine friends, I still have many of the blankets too. When it’s warm, we wear less, that I used for my own horses back when it’s cold we wear more, but our in the late 70’s and early 80’s, and horses get to wear the same winter they are just as good today as they coat all season long. Usually, the were when new. The blankets were horses do fine, as long as they have form fitted and stayed in place shelter from the wind. Their hair acts without leg straps, and were made as pretty good insulation as long as it’s from 1000 denier “Cordura” nylon dry. When it is wet and laying down ballistic material. These blankets close to the skin, it loses its insulation had a polyurethane coating inside value. Combine that with a cold blue the material to keep water from norther, and they’ll often be standing passing through, and then were there shaking. either fleece lined or had polyester We don’t have a real barn batting insulation with a lighter as such. We have a covered feeding nylon lining. I could tell dozens pen with individual stalls, but the of stories about the toughness of stalls aren’t solidly enclosed, just these blankets, but suffice it to say, surrounded with cattle panels, so if you want to make an investment they don’t protect from the wind. in a winter blanket, get one made We also feed with round bales in the with ballistic nylon, and it will last FF HorsebackAd_Layout 1 9/20/12 12:14 PM Page 1 big pasture, so putting the horses in indefinitely.


Second choice is a 1200 plus denier polyester, outer material. This is also called ripstop, but is not as strong as the nylon. Third choice will be the lighter denier nylons like a 600 denier, your last choice should be cotton and cotton canvas like the old “New Zealand” rugs. I’ve seen many horses tear these up the first night they were worn. If you need an emergency blanket, you often don’t have the luxury of shopping or waiting to order one. Just get the best you can find and then keep your eye out for a spring sale. Dover Saddler has some excellent sale prices on a 1680 denier ballistic nylon blanket that is nearly indestructible, and indestructible is a very good thing when you are dealing with the power of a 1200 pound animal. Also, in this part of the world, don’t go for one of the heavier blankets. Most of these expensive blankets come in three weights, or else can be layered. Go with the lightweight. We just want to give the horse a little edge against the wind and wet. You definitely don’t want your horse to sweat under that blanket. You would be better off without one than to get one that is too warm!



54 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - February 2013



To measure your horse for a blanket, if possible, have someone hold a tape measure at the center of the horse’s chest, right under his wind pipe. Take the tape around his ribs, over the longest point of the horse’s hip to the center of his tail. This should be your blanket measurement. A 16 hand horse should be approximately 78 to 80 inches. This can vary according to how stout the horse is and how long his back is. Also, keep in mind, that without a proper hand measurement, most 16 hand horses in Texas are about 15.2. Don’t guess. Use the measuring tape and get the right size blanket. Most of the better blankets today are water repellant, and most are breathable, so they let body moisture out, but keep water from getting in. This is usually accomplished by a water resistant barrier on the inside of the outer material, and is often sprayed on polyurethane. This will delaminate and go away if washed in hot water, so always wash your blankets in cold

water. It is not necessary to use an expensive detergent, especially, don’t use one that has fragrance. Also, your home top load washer won’t usually work with a bulky blanket. It gets too jammed up, and the agitator can do more damage than good. I used to spread my blankets out over the propane tank and go after them with a scrub brush and hose. That’s tough work when you have 6 or 8 blankets to clean, so I just bought a front load commercial washer to do blankets in. I’m in the process of putting in a drain field for the wash water and should have everything up and running by the time you read this. In researching this business, which is quite common in the northern states, I found one commercial horse blanket laundry in Weatherford, one in Dallas, and one in Magnolia. The stars seemed to line up saying this was a good idea, and since I sold Bunkhouse Leather, I had been looking for something equine related to do, so here I go with a new venture.

I have certainly missed the relationships I had with my customers from the store, although I was burned out from the hours and the lack of personal time. Hopefully, this new venture will keep me in touch with friends, but still give me time to play with the horses. I look forward to calls and emails from my friends in horse land. Horseback readers can find Lew Pewterbaugh and his news venture at Bandera Equine Valet, Horse clothing laundry and repair. Free pickup and delivery in the San Antonio area, with three blankets or more, or send to: Bandera Equine Valet, 2687 Winans Creek Road, Bandera, Texas, 78003 or call 830 328 0321. Email: hB Bandera’s Lew Pewterbaugh has been called the most knowledgeable saddle and tack authority in the Southwest. For private fitting consultation call (830) 328-0321 or (830) 522-6613 or email:




hen training the English horse for dressage or jumping, time spent on the ground with him will help to develop his attention, trust, respect, obedience, strength and willingness to work with his rider. Centuries ago, horsemen discovered that there are many different ways to work with a horse. They also found that working from the ground (also referred to as groundwork) can be beneficial in many ways to both the horse and the rider. Horses can be worked in hand, on the lunge line or in a round pen. In this horseman’s opinion, every rider and horse should spend time developing solid fundamental lunging skills. Before teaching a horse to lunge, good ground manners should be established. When working from the ground, practice good safety by wearing gloves to protect your hands, shoes or boots which are heavy enough and tall enough to protect your feet if the horse steps on you and an ASTM/SEI approved helmet. Horses can act unexpectedly so always dress properly and pay attention to what you are doing when working with them. Examine your horse’s ground manners. Make sure your horse will walk quietly beside you with his shoulder next to yours at a safe arm’s length from you. If he tends to lean on you, keep pushing him away with your elbow until he no longer crowds you. Horses need to be taught to respect your space. Voice commands can be taught as you start and stop on the lead. He should turn willingly to both the left and right and be led easily from both sides. If he is sluggish, carry a dressage whip in your outside hand (the left hand when the horse is on your right) and reach behind you to tap his flank when he hesitates or drags his feet. Don’t look back when you tap him. Stay focused on where you want him to go. When you stop, he should be attentive enough to stop with you and stand quietly until you are ready to move again. Keep repeating these exercises until they become automatic. It may take some time and patience. When you have his attention and are ready to lunge find an area in the corner of an arena. Use a sturdy cotton lunge line with a loop or donut at the

his shoulders. Now, watch to see where you are taking him just as if you were riding. Be careful not to run him into an obstacle as he travels around you. By quietly maintaining this position, you will influence your horse to go forward into the “open door” and move away from the “closed door”. If he is reluctant to go forward, raise the whip and cluck to him. If necessary, you can “crack” the whip to get his attention. As he responds by increasing his speed or changing his gait, lower the whip and stop the clucking just as you would soften the aids when you are riding. By keeping your elbows close to your body, you can prevent the line from being yanked out of your hand if the horse pulls. Always keep one foot in front of the other and the hands close to your body for the best leverage. Never forget that the beautiful animal on the end of your line is enormously bigger and stronger than you are. Use all the leverage you can to prevent him from realizing his strength when he tugs against you. Expect him to test you occasionally by pulling at the line. Just firmly hold your ground or give a gentle tug against him and he will settle down. Now that he is going forward, start introducing the voice commands. Begin by simply saying walk, trot, canter and whoa as he performs each of these gaits. Since horses hear tone more clearly than the words, be sure to consistently change the tone or inflection for each of the commands. A low pitched calming voice for a long, drawn out “waaaallk”, a low, firm “whoa”, an energetic “trot” and a clear two syllable “can-ter” will help him to distinguish the commands. Lightly pull on the lunge line each time you ask for a down transition. As he learns his voice commands, change directions frequently to reduce boredom and to develop his muscles evenly. Remember to change the whip to your back hand and re-coil the line each time. Most horses will find it easier to work to the left as they are accustomed to being led from the left. Be sure to spend extra time working the more difficult side until both sides are easy. You might find that your horse tends to want to stop and turn in the

“Grounding your Horse with Groundwork”

56 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - February 2013

end so that it will not be easily pulled from your hand. You can use a lunging cavesson, bridle or halter. If your horse tends to lose focus or pull on you a lot, a lunge line with a chain to put under his chin will help. I like to run the chain through the left side of the halter, under the chin, back out the right side and fasten it back to itself on the big link at the base of the chain. A five or six foot lunge whip with a lash that will make a cracking noise is necessary when lunging inexperienced horses and highly recommended for added control with experienced horses. Note that it is used as an extension of the arm for clear communication and not as a method of punishment. Stand with the horse facing to your left with the line loosely looped in your left hand. The last loop should be on top to prevent the possibility of tangling the line as you let it out. The whip is held in your right hand. Gently push your horse’s nose away from you and step slightly to his rear. Lift the whip and allow some of the lunge line to uncoil as you start your horse at the walk. Don’t allow your horse to take off running as he could injure you in the process and remember to stay out of kicking range. Hold your arms in a “V” with the left forearm pointing towards his head and your right arm with the whip pointing towards his tail as if closing the door behind him. Position your body so that your shoulders are turned towards his head and you are standing behind

other direction. Check your positioning. Are you still behind his shoulders with your shoulders facing his head? Is your back hand still closing the door by pointing the whip directly at his tail? Do your arms still form a “V”? If the answer is yes to all of these questions, you may simply be slow on your reaction time. Watch his eyes. He’ll glance at you right before he spins. You must immediately step towards his rear and crack the whip loudly. Shortening the lunge line will also help increase the control by allowing you to touch your horse’s haunches with the lash as you did with the dressage whip when leading. When your horse is ready to be submissive you will know by watching his head. He will have a soft eye, keep one ear cocked toward you, drop his head a bit and softly work his mouth in a chewing fashion. As you and your horse get comfortable with lunging both directions, try introducing a snaffle bridle (with the reins removed) and a surcingle with elastic side reins adjusted loosely and attached to the bit. Run the lunge line through the bit as you did

with the halter. As your horse becomes accustomed to the feel of it, gradually shorten the side reins to ask him to bring his nose down until it is only slightly in front of the vertical and there is contact on his mouth. He’ill learn to take the path of least resistance and give at the poll. He’ll discover that he can control the pressure on his mouth by positioning his head correctly. Meanwhile, you simply keep him moving forward into the bit through your lunging techniques. As he complies, you can begin teaching suppleness by shortening the inside rein slightly each time you turn him until he gives in his neck. Build up to each of these steps slowly as the inexperienced or unfit horse will find these exercises difficult and tedious if asked to do them too soon or for too long. Keep your lunging sessions under 30 minutes for the best results and watch his reactions for signs that you are over challenging him. If there is a great deal of resistance, it is likely that your aids are confusing to him or that he is getting tired. It is your job to end the session while the horse is still finding his work interesting and enjoyable. Only then will he keep a good

attitude through subsequent workouts. Lunging is important for developing your hunter or dressage horse’s strength, rhythm, balance, suppleness, obedience, acceptance of the bit and self-carriage. You may need your lunging skills to exercise an injured horse that cannot be ridden. At times you may need it for taking the edge off of an overly energetic horse or one who has seen too much stall time. Lunging will help to focus and relax your horse to make the ride safer. In addition, a horse that is trained to lunge can be a very useful tool for a rider to develop his seat and balance with the help of someone to lunge the horse for him. Regardless of the reason, good lunging skills will greatly enhance any horseman’s training program and should be practiced until they become second nature to both the horse and the horseman. hB

Cathy Strobel has more than 30 years of experience as a trainer, judge and clinician she can be reached at Southern Breeze Eq. Ctr. at (281) 431-4868 or




“High Altitude Trailering”


I’ve been getting conflicting advice about a trailering issue. I’m going to be taking my wife’s horses out West to a friend’s ranch for the summer. We live in Maryland, basically at sea level. I like the way my truck and trailer perform up and down the coast, but I’ve never taken two horses up to this kind of altitude before (6000 feet above sea level). Is there anything I should do differently to haul the horses? I do know about hauling on hills.


: Yes, there are some important differences between sea-level hauling and high-altitude hauling. Driver skill is one issue, of course; it’s essential to know how to maintain a safe and predictable speed up and down hill and around turns. Don’t underestimate the learning curve involved; even people who have years of experience hauling horses in the flatlands will need to learn a new set of skills when they begin hauling horses in the mountains. This can present some real challenges if your flatland-driving habits are well-established. Another key issue for you to consider is towing vehicle performance. This matters a lot, because even the most skilled, experienced, and brilliant driver, even a brilliant driver with many years and many miles of experience driving in the mountains, is not going to be able to compensate for a too-small engine or a tooheavy load. I mention this because so many people who haul horses are accidents waiting to happen. If you’re

like most sensible horse haulers, I’m sure that you’ve had this experience before: You’ve arrived at a trailhead or a competition and watched – probably with your mouth hanging open in utter amazement – someone else drive in with two or more horses in a heavy trailer being pulled by a small, struggling pickup truck or a little SUV. It’s fascinating in a sort of “Oh, my, look at the clown car!” way, but it’s also terrifying, because if anything at all goes wrong, that rig is doomed… and so is anyone else who happens to be sharing that part of the road with it. Serious engine power, a good transmission cooler, and a long wheelbase are all essential, basic requirements for any towing vehicle. And now, back to the specific issues involved in highaltitude driving.

You didn’t specify exactly what kind of truck or trailer you will be using, but you are going to need to calculate your gross vehicle weight and gross combination weights with greater-than-usual care if you’re going to be hauling horses at high altitudes. Hauling in the mountains really is different. You should know that elevation causes a reduction in gasoline engine power; you can figure on approximately 3% to 4% loss for each 1,000 feet elevation. By the time you’ve climbed from sea level to 6,000 feet, you’ll be looking at a power loss of 18% to 24% - and that’s quite a significant change. Experts in high-altitude hauling usually suggest that drivers should compensate for this power loss by making a corresponding reduction in the weights mentioned above

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58 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - February 2013

(GVW and GCW). If you can reduce the weights by 2% for each 1,000 feet of elevation, that should do the trick. I’m sure that as an experienced horse-hauler, you already know to check your tires often and keep them suitably inflated. As a general rule, on any long trip, make it part of your plan to stop every couple of hours and double-check your hitch and chains, your lights and brakes, and your oil level. It will only take a moment for you to check the tightness of the lug nuts on the trailer wheels – so please do that, too. All of this will help in yet another way: It will make you unfold your body and walk around a little, which is good for you, your circulation, your muscles, and a brief change of visual focus. You should take advantage of each planned pause in the trip to check on your horses and offer them some water. They will appreciate the chance to stand still for a moment without having to make isometric muscular efforts to maintain their balance (as they must do, constantly, whenever the trailer is moving). Also, they may very well take advantage of the “pause in the action” by relaxing briefly and urinating. That will be easier and more pleasant for them – and cause much less slippage – if your trailer mats drain well and/or if you’ve added some highly-absorbent bedding (sawdust or shavings, but not straw) to the trailer floor. Some people prefer to add bedding only to the rear half of the trailer, roughly from your horse’s girth groove back to the end of the mats. If the airflow inside your trailer is such that bedding materials up front would tend to blow into your horses’ faces, distributing the bedding in that way (more to the rear) is a good idea. The bottom line with hauling horses in the mountains, really, is that when it comes to engine size, bigger is better. If your rig is “satisfactory” (read: just barely adequate) when you’re at sea level, it may be much less than satisfactory (read: totally inadequate) when you’re driving in the mountains – even on relatively flat terrain that happens to be at a high altitude. mountains. If you have any doubts at all, consider using a towing vehicle with a larger engine. Finally, keep in mind the effects of altitude on your horses’ well-being – and your own. Altitude sickness (basically lack of sufficient oxygen) doesn’t usually occur at 6,000 feet (it typically manifests at 8,000 or higher), but even at 6,000 feet

you may feel more fatigue than usual, and perhaps a headache. For some people, the headache can be debilitating. Don’t push yourself too hard, make it a point to stay hydrated, and if you experience hangoverlike symptoms, remember that your horses may be experiencing similar symptoms.

Taking basic precautions with your rig, yourself, and your horses will make your trip much more pleasant. hB

Dr. Jessica Jahiel is the best selling author of Riding For The Rest Of Us.



“The Peterbilt Mare”


y dad was a horse trader and some of the horses he bought didn’t have the best dispositions. One day, he came home from the sale with a sorrel horse in the back of the pickup. (We didn’t have a trailer, just stock racks on the truck). I was 16, had a date and was starting to leave when Dad arrived on the scene. He stepped out and told me to

grab my saddle. He wanted to check out the horse he bought at the sale. I mentioned that I had a date and he gave me that look. You know the kind. The one that says you better do as I say. Besides that, he said three kids had ridden this horse into the ring. Thinking back now, that should have been a warning sign. Kid horses ridden through the sale will hurt you. You didn’t tell my dad no, so I saddled up and stepped on. To my surprise, the horse walked off as smooth as you please, for about 10 steps. Then, boy, she buried her head and started pitching. My mom started yelling “get off ” and I thought about it pretty hard, for about a jump. But the driveway was looking a whole lot harder than my thoughts. My next thought was that I was way better off on top this bucking thing my dad was calling a horse. I also thought I was a real bronc peeler, so I figured I would ride her out.

Everything was going pretty good and we bucked around the yard. I looked like Casey Tibbs, or thought I did anyway. Then, instead of going straight, she turned and went down the lane towards the highway. I thought she surely would give up before we got there, but she didn’t weaken. She bucked straight and strong right down the driveway like she didn’t have a care in the world. I rode her until she got pretty close to the highway, I bailed off and out on the highway she went. As I looked up from the gravel and dirt, I could see a Peterbilt truck coming up the hill towards our driveway. The bucking mare slipped and fell on the pavement in front of that truck. The truck driver slammed on the brakes and got stopped; he jumped out and asked me if I was ok. With a little disgust in my thoughts, I said, “Yes, I am fine, but you made one mistake. You should have run right over her instead of stopping.” Needless to say I was late for my date and I don’t think that girl ever believed my excuse. hB

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Trailer Clean Up!


welcome to Cowboy Corner. Made it through the Horseback Magazine twentieth birthday, and got called a “celebrity of sorts”, whatever that is. My deal is always the same: “can call me anything you like, if you’ll call me to dinner”. Hope last month you made some New Year’s resolutions and this month are still keeping them. Year 2013 looks great and is off to a good start. February is “get ready for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo time” in my part of the world, with trail ride warm-up’s, trail rides and the parade. In other parts of Texas rodeos and livestock shows are either going on, or getting ready. Have always thought of February as a big haulin’ time and tried to have my trailers ready. Folks it’s time to check the tires, lights, brakes, and license tags. No matter what you’re haulin’ a little trailer clean-up is going to be needed. Some trailers clean up easier than others, depending on the trailer floor. Have several livestock hauling trailers and each one has a different floor and some easier to clean than others. Probably the hardest to clean is the wood floor trailer with the floor boards running cross ways rather than long ways. If the boards don’t have a small space between, the clean up is even harder. Rubber

62 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - February 2013

mats can make the clean-up job easier, but some are heavy and awkward to take in and out of the trailer. If you are haulin’ cattle solid rubber mats get real slick, real fast, with manure, and make standing difficult for the cattle. To try to make the clean-up job easier, and aid in footing, have tried all sorts of different materials. Know the high end horse folks with the big equine trailers use wood shavings. Wood shavings are good, but we can’t stall horses and use shavings daily. Just don’t have an expense category on my ranch budget for wood shavings. Over the years, ‘have used all kinds of trailer floor toppings to aid in clean-up and footing. Have used everything from bank sand to corn shucks, to rice straw and have settled on rice hulls. Some of the bedding sellers offer rice hulls as an alternative to shavings, and sell as a bagged product. Rice hulls area by product of rice drying and storage. Typically beginning in July with the first rice

harvest, hulls begin to accumulate at the dryers. The Texas rice belt extends along either side of IH10 between Beaumont/Orange to half way between Houston and San Antonio. By the time the second harvest is over in the fall the dryers have huge piles of rice hulls, and the price is right. When I get ready to haul, just back the trailer up the mound of hulls and shovel in to about four to six inches deep over the trailer floor. Spread the hulls around to an even covering. At clean up time try to elevate the front of the trailer and scoop and sweep the hull/ manure mix into your compost pile or garden. Gardeners use hulls for compost and to add organic matter to gardens, but the hulls/manure mix has a lot more plant food value. Due to availability, and cost, I have used rice hulls for bedding for all kinds of livestock. Might not work for you, but poor folks have poor ways! Happy Trails!

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64 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - February 2013

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Horseback Magazine February 2013  

Vol.20 Number 2

Horseback Magazine February 2013  

Vol.20 Number 2